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Founded in 1995, DE-CIX in Frankfurt is the leading operator of Ethernet-based carrier and ISP interconnection worldwide. DE-CIX facilitates the exchange of IP traffic between networks through a distributed, failsafe and scalable infrastructure in various metro markets across Germany and in the Middle East. This includes broadband networks, hosting providers, content providers and cloud computing players.

Almost 600 ISPs from about 60 countries use DE-CIX to handle a large fraction of their Internet traffic and make DE-CIX the world’s largest interconnection facility that supports peering. DE-CIX’s customer base includes the world’s leading players, such as 1&1, Akamai, China Telecom, Facebook, Google and Telefonica.

The company began its international growth with the takeover in 2012 of the operations of UAE-IX in Dubai, UAE, the country’s first carrier-neutral interconnection and peering platform.
DE-CIX is a wholly owned subsidiary of eco e.V., the largest Internet industry association in Europe.

Connection to Internet Exchange UAE-IX in Dubai provides alternative routes in the event of submarine cable outages

Harald A. Summa

Frankfurt/Main und Dubai, 04 April 2013 – In the past week a number of submarine cables suffered major outages, severely disrupting internet connectivity between the Middle East, Asia, Africa and Europe.  Increased carrier interconnectivity would mean a broader range of available routes in such cases and, in the event of another outage, less negative consequences for internet users in affected regions.  This type of connectivity would be possible for example at the internet exchange UAE-IX, located in Dubai, United Arab Emirates and managed by DE-CIX Management GmbH in Frankfurt. 

Renesys, a provider of information on worldwide internet operations, reported in its blog that EASSy, SEACOM and Sea-Me-We-4 (SMW4) submarine cables suffered disruptions. EASSy and SEACOM are fibre optic submarine cables that connect South and East Africa with Europe and South Asia; EASSy and SEACOM outages temporarily wiped out internet connectivity in parts of East Africa, from Djibouti to South Africa. Sea-We-Me-4, the primary internet backbone between Southeast Asia, the Indian subcontinent, the Middle East and Europe, failed on 27 March 2013 at 6:20 UTC, leading to a widespread disruption of internet services from Egypt all the way to Pakistan. 

“When submarine cables are cut, it's critically important to have access to backup paths with sufficient capacity to carry traffic to affected destinations”, explains Jim Cowie, Chief Technology Officer and co-founder of Renesys.  “Carrier-neutral data centres and internet exchange points play an important role in this context because this is where internet service providers can connect easily.  Maintaining a presence at an internet exchange maximizes your options for re-establishing high-performance route diversity during a submarine cable outage event.”

Since October 2012, the UAE-IX internet exchange in Dubai has been operating as an internet hub between Europe, Africa and Asia. Almost 20 international and regional ISPs exchange traffic here. “Higher connectivity can reduce the impact of submarine cable cuts for ISPs and their customers in the Middle East, East Africa and South Asia”, says Harald Summa, CEO of DE-CIX Management GmbH, which manages UAE-IX. “When they interconnect at the UAE-IX, a more robust internet infrastructure for the entire region emerges. This type of increased resilience is to the benefit of all providers and of course, especially their customers, the internet users.”  

About UAE-IX
The UAE-IX in Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE), is a carrier-neutral Internet traffic exchange platform that interconnects global networks and, above all, network operators and content providers in the GCC region. The UAE-IX is managed by DE-CIX Management GmbH, one of the world’s largest operators of Internet exchange points, based in Frankfurt, Germany. The UAE-IX is built on a fully redundant switching platform located in a carrier-neutral secure datacenter in Dubai. The UAE-IX will reduce latency times by up to 80 per cent and costs by up to 70 per cent for GCC providers. Regional data travel shorter distances which dramatically improves the quality of the Internet experience for end-users. Further information available at: